Graduate Trainee Library Assistant

  • Job Reference: 001738
  • Date Posted: 8 March 2021
  • Recruiter: Institute of Historical Research
  • Location: London
  • Salary: £21,398
  • Sector: Higher Education
  • Job Type: Temporary, Graduate Trainee Opportunity
  • Duration: 1 Year

Job Description

The Graduate Trainee Library Assistant post is a one-year fixed term training post designed for graduates carrying out a year of work experience and training prior to attending library school. An opportunity to work in one of Europe's great historical research libraries, part of the University of London. 

Institute of Historical Research

Since its foundation in 1921, The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) has been an important resource and meeting place for researchers from all over the world. Full details of its extensive range of activities and services can be found at

The library is one of the independent institute libraries within the School of Advanced Study and shares a catalogue with the University of London central libraries.

The IHR Wohl Library is one of the widest ranging and comprehensive collections of printed historical sources in the UK, and is designed for use by researchers at postgraduate level and above.  Divided into national and topical collections, books are held in open and closed access locations, with a request service operated by Library staff.  All material is reference only.

The Library holds around 196,000 volumes and grows by about 2,000 volumes each year.  The core of the Library is a comprehensive collection of printed primary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles and Western Europe, their colonial history, the subsequent history of north and south America, international relations and war.  The printed sources are supported by very substantial holdings of bibliographies, archival guides, works of methodology and reference works, with biographical sources a particular strength.  There is also a large collection of the most essential historical periodicals and a selective but significant collection of microforms. It also has a growing collection of electronic resources.

The Role

The post is a one-year fixed term training post designed for graduates carrying out a year of work experience and training prior to attending library school.

The postholder will assist the IHR library staff in the selection, acquisition and cataloguing of new material, in the provision of services to users, and in any other activities required to support the work of the library. The trainee will become familiar with the library management system (currently Sierra), and will also have some opportunity to work on the maintenance of the Library pages of the IHR website. The trainee will be encouraged to take full advantage of the programme of visits and other training which is available to all trainees across the central university.

Applicants should hold a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor's degree in history or an equivalent subject with significant historical content, have competent level of IT skills, and a knowledge of a major western European language to at least A-Level standard or equivalent other than English (French, German, Spanish or Italian preferred). Applicants should have good interpersonal skills, and be able to work independently and as part of a small team. They need to be prepared to work in what may well be a rapidly changing environment. They should be committed to a career in librarianship.

Further Information

Please download the Job Description for further details. Please apply using the link below before the deadline at midnight on 30 April 2021. 

Interviews are scheduled to take place in the w/c 17th May and applicants are recommended to ensure their availability. 

When applying, please amalgamate your covering letter and CV into one document (Microsoft Word .doc or .docx) and upload it using the ‘Covering Letter and CV’ tab.

Important information:

The University reserves the right to close the vacancy earlier than the published end date should it receive sufficient applications to warrant earlier shortlisting.

Preferential consideration will be given to the University redeployment pool.

Please note that the University of London will be unable to sponsor candidates for a visa for this role. Therefore, successful applicants must be able to demonstrate their right to work in the UK for the duration of their employment. 

The University of London is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive working environment where we can all be ourselves and succeed. We particularly encourage applications from members of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities as this group is currently under-represented in senior levels within the University. All appointments will be made on merit, based on the criteria identified in the job description.